Ormiston Forge Academy is Ofsted Good

Ormiston Forge Academy, in Cradley Heath, has been commended on its ‘significant improvement’ after a recent Ofsted visit which rated the academy as Good.

Inspectors praised Principal Andrew Burns and his senior leadership team for ‘working tirelessly’ to ensure rapid improvement in the quality of education that is provided for students at the school.

The inspectors recognised how the school ‘successfully narrowed gaps in achievement between disadvantaged pupils and others, due to their determination to ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to succeed’. The report noted that ‘disadvantaged pupils are supported by well-targeted spending of the pupil premium funding’ which is helping them to improve their performance.

Other positive steps taken by the school include ensuring effective professional training for teachers and leaders. This has directly improved the quality of teaching which Ofsted identified as ‘good or better in nearly all subjects’. The Academy sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust, was praised for ‘supporting the school effectively to swiftly tackle underperformance’ through sharing best practices and ensuring rigorous safeguarding arrangements, which has ultimately contributed to successful school improvement.

Importantly these steps are all having a direct positive impact on students’ results; with the report noting that students have shown consistent and marked improvement since 2013. GCSE results have improved in each of the last three years and A level students recorded 63 A* grades with 63% of students achieving 5 A*-C grades last year. Forge’s strategies to raise learners’ aspirations are also leading to an increase in the number of students submitting successful applications for university courses and apprenticeships, with 100% of all leavers last year going on to further education or work.

Andrew Burns, Principal at Ormiston Forge Academy, said:

The driver was always that our children and community deserve a Good school. We have high expectations of all our students to work hard, play hard and look smart. We provide a school environment that inspires students to become confident individuals and independent learners, our students and parents have a sense of pride in belonging to Forge and our sponsor, the Ormiston Academies Trust.

This wonderful achievement reflects all the hard work and dedication of so many people. This has been a real team effort, from the students, the staff and our governors. I am so proud of my students, who are focused, resilient and positive and proved to the inspection team that we do not put a show on, we are Good all day, every day.

Next step: Outstanding! I know how close we are to this and we are already committed to this journey.

Stephen Rayner, Chair of Governors at Forge, said:

The governors are delighted that the Ofsted inspection team has recognised the progress that our academy has made in the last four years. We know how committed our staff are to the learning and well-being of the young people in our care. Above all we are proud of our students who, as the report states, are mature, confident learners developing as responsible members of the wider community.

Professor Toby Salt, Chief Executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, added:

Ofsted has rightly recognised the considerable steps the excellent improvement that has taken place at Forge. Pupils, parents and staff have all put in huge efforts and it’s great to see that this is having such a positive impact and delivering great results.

We will continue to provide support to ensure the school continues to deliver the high quality education students deserve.

As well as rating the Academy as Good overall, Ofsted has rated the academy as Good in every category it was inspected – including sixth form; personal development; pupil outcomes; quality of teaching and effectiveness of leadership and management.

The report adds: ‘Pupils and learners across the school speak enthusiastically about their experience of attending school and of the opportunities they are provided with.
‘Pupils behave in a mature and responsible way. They enjoy positive relationships with each other and with school staff.
‘Extra-curricular opportunities are varied and there is a strong take-up of these by pupils. Pupils spoke warmly of the popular house competition which includes many sporting and academic competitions. The school is particularly proud of its work in promoting enterprise.’

The report continues: ‘Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is developed in a number of different ways. Pupils learn about different faiths and beliefs as part of their lessons in religious studies and this is also explored in time spent with their form tutors.
‘The school’s arrangements to help new pupils settle in quickly are particularly effective.
‘Pupils enjoy their time at the school.’

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Ormiston Forge Academy, Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 6QU. Tel: 01384 566 598.